Friday, October 30, 2015

Burnt Sienna Wren Dress

Here's my Wren dress!

This is the new knit "surplice" (I had to look that up: a garment in which the two halves of the front cross diagonally.) dress from Colette Patterns, Wren.

I used some lightweight cotton jersey I got locally here in Bangkok last year. The maroon-y, burnt sienna color (which looks more red in these photos; it's more brown in real life) isn't normally my bag (although it matches my glasses perfectly!), but for some reason I couldn't leave it behind. It was always destined to be a '70s style wrap dress of some sort and it practically jumped off my shelf when I went poking around my stash for Wren fabric. The color is very fall, too, no?

Using a tip from Kerry at VeryKerryBerry, I decided to reinforce the neckband and back neckline with clear elastic. I zig-zagged 3/8" clear elastic to the wrong side of the neckline at the edge. Then I turned the elastic inwards and used my twin needle to stitch it down, as instructed. I also sewed clear elastic to the shoulders before sewing the front and back bodice together.

This is a size L, but with the XL length for the skirt. These are the half sleeves from the bonus sleeve pack (why wouldn't they just include all the sleeve lengths in the pattern?!).

I cut the back skirt on the fold. Honestly didn't even notice until after I cut it that it was supposed to be in two pieces... and why? To save fabric, I guess?

My waistband is a bit janky. I think it's a combination of my serger not liking all those layers (multiple bodice layers at the overlap, clear elastic, heavily gathered skirt) and my elastic reinforcement at the neck wrap pulling upwards a bit. 

Nothing a cute belt can't disguise, though! I've had this belt for approximately 15 years and only just found the perfect dress with which to wear it:

I am feeling pretty happy about this dress. The color is nice, the skirt is swishy and lovely, and I generally love the shape, but no jazz hands from me yet.  From afar, if you squint, I think the Wren is a flattering shape, but when you're not squinting, you can see some of my fit issues.

There are some spots that I am not happy with where the bodice is pulling or clinging. Perhaps I should have done an FBA to deal with some of the extra armpit fabric? The sleeves also look and feel weird.  It sounds like Mary of Idle Fancy had a similar tenting issue across the bust and sleeve, but was able to make some small fixes to get the perfect fit. I am planning to cyber stalk her until she shares her how-to!

I wonder if it's just this thin jersey with a slight sheen that is just emphasizing the wrinkles?

I am considering laying the bodice pieces over the Cashmerette Appleton pattern to modify the Wren bodice for a better fit at the bust and armpit. Any other suggestions on getting a better fit with this? 

Have you made Wren? Planning on it?